Stopping The Spread of EAB

Ash Borer Infestation
Southern Tier (WENY) -- The discovery of an invasive bug at a New York campground could be bad news for a lot of trees in the state. The Department of Environmental Conservation found an Emerald Ash Borer infestation today in the Catskill Forest Preserve.

This small but destructive beetle kills North American ash trees and often hitches rides on firewood.

To help protect New York forests, the DEC set permanent regulations to restrict the transportation of firewood no more than 50 miles.

Southern Tier residents who sell firewood to campers said the DEC stopped by earlier this week to make sure they were handing out firewood certification forms. The form basically serves as a receipt in case people get stopped by police, because it's illegal to bring untreated firewood into the state or transport it more than 50 miles from its source.

Also, if an area is quarantined you can't bring the wood past county lines.

"We would say burn it where you buy it because this is a big problem with this Ash Borer bug here," said Jason Cornell, who sells firewood from his home. "[Buying wood locally]does help the economy, too, but the bigger most important issue is with this bug that we're trying to keep out of the area."

The beetles don't hurt people, but in 10 years they've destroyed 70 million trees in the United States. New York has more than 900 million ash trees, and the beetle poses a threat to every one of them.

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